UK Spaceport Alliance

In 2020 a concordat has been signed by three vertical rocket launch sites – Shetland Space Centre, Space Hub Sutherland, and Spaceport 1 – along with two horizontal ‘air launch’ sites – Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport and Machrihanish Airbase Community Company.

Whilst the Alliance currently comprises the Scottish Spaceport sites, dialogue with wider UK based sites is at an advanced stage with a view to adopting and promoting a collaborative UK approach to the development and provision of launch services to the international space market.

The Alliance will develop a joint position for discussions with Government agencies to facilitate progress on key issues such as regulation and governance, insurance and international collaborations.

The Spaceport Alliance is also collaborating to develop a brand to send a common message to the World that Scotland and the UK are open for Space business and poised to lead the way in Europe, through a fully integrated Commercial Space capability from Satellite design and manufacture to Launch, platforms, facilities and management to data and information services.

The Alliance seeks to promote and champion the importance of the sector’s green credentials, to highlight alignment and compliance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“The UK Space Agency and the new Spaceports Alliance are working in lockstep towards a common goal – make the UK the leading destination for space launch in Europe.

“We want each spaceport to provide a range of services that complements those available at other spaceport sites; meeting the myriad demands from companies for satellite launches and sub-orbital flights. The Spaceports Alliance will help us realise this ambition and build on our space sector’s proud history of collaboration.”

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO for Project Delivery at the UK Space Agency:

 “I am delighted that the spaceports across Scotland have come together under the banner of the Scottish Space Leadership Council to form the Spaceport Alliance in what is an extremely exciting time for the emerging space sector globally.

“The space sector in Scotland also has a key role to play in tackling climate change. Having the ability to launch satellites here in Scotland will enable the expansion and enhancement of earth observation and environmental data giving Scotland a real and meaningful contribution to efforts to tackle the climate emergency and enhance the Green Recovery as set out in our Programme for Government.”

Ivan McKee, Scottish Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation

 “We have big ambitions for Prestwick as a launch location for various spacecraft types and as UK’s premier AeroSpace hub. Formation of the Spaceport Alliance is a significant step forward for Scotland’s spaceflight industry, and together with the SSLC and colleagues from across every aspect of space will help establish the UK as the European space powerhouse.”

Mick O’Connor, Programme Director at Prestwick Spaceport

“The space opportunity for Scotland and the UK is considerable. Launch capability will not only create local employment, it will support growth in a range of businesses, from satellite and launch vehicle manufacturers to supply chain companies and the research institutions that will use data gathered from satellites.”

The new alliance provides a very welcome forum for all of us involved in developing spaceports in Scotland to share information and knowledge that will benefit our own projects and accelerate progress for the sector as a whole.”

Roy Kirk, Project Director at Space Hub Sutherland

“We are delighted to be working together with the SSLC and the other Spaceports to showcase the Scottish and UK Space Industry to the World and have agreed to share resource and expertise as and when appropriate.

“Recent speculation about a ‘Space Race’ between UK launch sites has got it wrong. The race is not within the UK it is between the UK and the rest of Europe and we recognise that we have to work together and collaboratively to establish the UK as a leader not only in Launch, but across the Space sector as a whole.

“This SSLC initiative is pulling us together at exactly the right time and for the right reasons.”

Frank Strang, CEO of the Shetland Space Centre“

“This Alliance is excellent news for the Space industry in the UK, and reflects the increasing expectation of progress in the coming months and years across the UK launch community. Above all, our common purpose is commercial success for all. We have much to share and learn together and Spaceport 1 looks forward to playing our part in promoting a globally strong launch industry in and for the UK.”

Mark Roberts, Programme Director for Spaceport 1

“For the UK to become a space fairing nation again, to compete in the current and future global market place and to deliver on the ambition of securing 10% of the global space market by 2030, launch sites must work together. We are delighted to sign up to this concordat and to be part of the SSLC.”

Cameron McNair, Chairman of MACC (owner of Machrihanish Airbase)